After spending the last forty years in the company of actors, I can unabashedly proclaim that I love them. I am guilty of loving actors.
What I love about good actors is their presence, their revealed hearts in life and on stage. The definition of presence is varied, from still, silent and deep to rambunctious, loud, and confident, but at the core, presence is outward directed in my favorite actors.
A great actor is calmly present in the moment with no undercurrent of self-regard.
A great actor reveals truths about our crazy lives, truths that are not demonstrated with self-regard and awareness, but with indirect intuition and the need to be met halfway by an audience. A great actor does not do it all, but rather, makes me a partner in the journey. A great actor has no guile and does not believe in tricks.
I am more and more attracted to the complexity of the simple. I use the phrase ‘you are enough’ all the time as I teach and I mean it very much.
The ideas of theatre, of acting, of performing are universal, yet they are impacted by culture, place, society, and economics. The universal has room for a great variety. Working with young artists in Kenya is re-teaching me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The reasons that an actor’s work moves me in Kenya are exactly the same reasons I am moved by the work of an American actor.
I love actors who don’t try too hard, but just are.
I love actors who let me see them seeing. Outward directed work that is simple and open always allows me to be drawn in through the eyes.
I love seeing an actor who loves being on stage. I can feel it. There is no apology and no fear.
I love actors who possess clarity when they work. No moment is wasted. They exhibit muscular physical engagement with fearlessness and articulation. Strong truthful opinions are attractive.
I am falling in love with the work of my Kenyan students. I love when they reveal themselves to be actors.